tv NBC Nightly News NBC June 24, 2012 6:30pm-7:00pm EDT
♪ on this sunday night, high alert. tonight louisiana's governor declares a state of emergency, and they're already feeling the effects in florida as a powerful tropical storm zeros in on the gulf coast. in the meantime, out west an out of control firestorm forces entire towns to evacuate. an historic turning point in egypt. the muslim brotherhood candidate elected president. what it means for the rest of the world. washed away, a growing crisis for america's beaches. and rock star, l.a.'s newest hunk slides into the spotlight. fans clamoring to catch a glimpse.
captions paid for by nbc-universal television good evening. already tonight a big part of the florida is feeling the high wind and rain from tropical storm debbie as millions remain on edge and on alert for its eventual land fall. forecasters have had a hard time nailing down where the storm is headed. this storm has already proved dangerous. with winds now sustained at 60 miles per hour. a tropical storm warning is up tonight from the miss miss/alabama border into northwestern florida. louisiana's governor has already declared a state of emergency. the weather channel's mike seidel is in north reddington beach florida near tampa. >> reporter: they're getting
pounded on these beaches. tropical storm debby has already claimed its first fatality. oil rigs have been evacuated. this is the first flooding here since 1993, nearly 20 years ago. take a look at these 8 to 10 foot waves battering these beaches. that's going to be the story of the storm here in the coast. huge impact with beach erosion and inland too, as much as seven inches of rain. so far, water rescues and clearwater so far this afternoon. a tornado watch up until 8:00, and that will likely be extended. take a look at the radar, a huge broad swirl with debby, heavy rainfalls. with the slow movement of debby northeast at three miles an hour now, some areas could top 15 inches of rain. we're more confident now it's not going to texas, but leak at the red zone, the cone from louisiana to florida, it may not
make landfall for three more days, more wind and rain pounding these areas until maybe wednesday. and fema tonight, lester is urging all residents to heed the warnings of this dangerous storm. next high tide at 5:00 a.m., and once again the gulf of mexico is going to go right into the pool here at the hotel. >> a soaked my seidel starting us off tonight, thanks. folks out west are dealing with a weather related emergency of their own. more than 20 major wildfires burning right now, thousands of residents in and around colorado have been ordered to evacuate as a wildfire there grows out of control. dangerously close to their homes. we get the latest from nbc's michelle franzen. >> reporter: billowing smoke and towering flames surrounded homes today outside colorado springs. hundreds of firefighters battled the waldo canyon fire that scorched more than 2,000 acres and threatening densely
populated communities and parks. >> our primary objective today, structure protection. and continuing to hold the line that will stop the fire from copping down into the mountain shadows area. >> reporter: the fast moving blaze is one of eight wildfires burning in colorado. the worst fire season in a decade. >> this isn't something we haven't seen before, but it is unusual to see a fire with this potential. >> reporter: the biggest, the high park fire just outside ft. collins destroyed nearly 200 homes and displaced hundreds of residents. >> it's one of those days if we have nothing lost, it's good. >> reporter: another fire race through a community, destroying 21 homes and cabins. >> i didn't even think to take my phone and wallet, because the fire was a little further down. >> reporter: tinder box conditions that continue to stoke fires throughout the west.
basically the ingredients for this fire are single digit humidity levels, strong erratic winds, and we have a ridge of high pressure acting like a dome, locking in all this heat. >> reporter: in utah, near salt lake city, firefighters are starting to get a handle on the so-called dump fire, possibly sparked by target shooters. with the fire season just getting started, residents and crews know they have a long summer ahead. michelle franzen, nbc news. overseas now to another big story we're following tonight, an historic turning point in egypt. more than a year after rage and revolution swept across that country, egypt has a new and freely elected leader, a one-time political prisoner, now president. our chief foreign correspondent richard engel joins us now from cairo's tahrir square, where the celebration continues late into the night. richard? >> reporter: they certainly are, lester, with firework withes as well, egypt took a major turn, electing a conservative
president who wants to impose islamic law. it was a year and a half ago in this square that students brought down president mubarak, but in the end it was the islamists who managed to do what the students could not. rise to power. 2:00 p.m. tahrir square, the muslim brotherhood is already celebrating. their victory in egypt's most important election ever still isn't certain. two hours later, judges appear on state tv to officially announce that the muslim brotherhood's mohammed morsi has in fact won, with a 52% majority. tahrir explodes in both joy and religious ecstasy. god is great, they shout. here they are seeing a simple islamic chant to give thanks that mohammed morsi has won the
presiden presidency. egypt is at a crossroads, decades of secular military rule are over, and now this country is starting a new islamic chapter. in tahrir, crowds hold up copies of the koran. this is our constitution, they shout. for decades, the brotherhood's slogan has been islam is the solution. >> if you want to achieve anything good, you have to -- >> reporter: nearby, clerics lead more cheers. the army is ours, they say. across town, others see the egypt brotherhood's win as a catastrophe that democracy has brought a fundamental iist president who wants to change laws. the vote, just to pass the power. egypt is lost they yell, as they tear up morsi's picture. morsi gave his acceptance speech
tonight, reaching out, promising moderation and to include all egyptians in a new government. but in tahrir, many see their victory as much more than that. as divine intervention, and say it is only the beginning of profound changes still to come. the muslim brotherhood still faces serious challenges. the military has already taken away many of the president's key authorities, so a power struggle between the islamists here and the egyptian military could lie ahead. lester? >> richard engel in cairo tonight, richard, thanks. andrea mitchell is nbc's chief foreign affairs correspondent. how is all this sitting in washington? >> just now the white house announced the president called mohammed morsi and wished him well. he wants to work together with him on egypt's transition to democracy. they're impressed that dr. morsi promised tonight to abide by
international treaties, that means not breaking egypt's important historic treaty with israel. he also committed to observe women's rights as richard said. and said he plans to be the president of all the people. will he honor those commitments? administration officials say their greatest leverage is, egypt's economy collapsed after the revolution. they need millions of dollars in u.s. aid and imf loans. today, john kerry, who's done a number of delegate missions for the white house, revealed he recently went to cairo, he had two very candid talks with morsi, and morsi acknowledged the central issue facing his future, economics. kerry believes that morsi understands what he has to do. the immediate question will be whether egypt's military will let him have the power to make some very tough decisions. >> andrea mitchell, tonight. thanks. this week, the supreme court wraps up its current term, and that means we'll finally hear a decision of the blockbuster
showdown over president obama's health care law. our justice correspondent pete williams is at the court tonight, pete, good evening. >> reporter: both that and arizona immigration are huge issues. anyway you look at it, in terms of the law or politics or the effect on millions of people, this will be the supreme court's most important rulings in decades. it's president obama's most significant accomplishment, one he still champions. >> here in the united states of america, nobody has to go broke was they get sick. >> reporter: it's one that eric cantor vows to wipe off the books if it survives the challenge. >> we're going to call for the total repeal of obama care. >> reporter: 26 states ask the court to strikedown the law that all americans get health insurance. >> the supreme court finds itself in the middle of a storm, a political storm in the presidential election coming up, it's the president's signature achievement, and this is about health care, which touches all
of us. >> reporter: when the justices heard more than six hours of oral argument in late march, they seemed deeply divided over the key issue. how far can the government go to make people buy something. if it could make people buy insurance, it could make people eat healthier food. >> everybody has to buy food sooner or later, you define the market as food, therefore everything's in the market, you can make people buy productively. >> reporter: health care is different because the cost of treating people who don't have insurance is shifted to those who do. >> you are entitled to health care when you go to an emergency room, when you go to a dpr, even if you can't pay for it. >> reporter: some of the nation's largest insurance companies now say they will continue honoring a few of the law's requirements even if the court strikes it down. that would include letting parents keep children on their policies until age 26, covering preventative services such as blood pressure screenings and removing caps on the costs of
lifetime patient spending. >> they could be put into place quickly and easily, they're popular. it's not surprising to me that the major insurers, not all of them, but the major insurers have indicated they will not back pedal on those. >> reporter: the big insurers have said nothing about keeping a popular provision of the law that keeps them from denying coverage because of pre-existing conditions. there's no word when the court will issue this decision, it could be as early as tomorrow or it could be as late as thursday, which will probably be the last day of the term, lester. >> pete williams, tonight. thanks, pete. america's beaches packed with sun bathers and bulldozers, trying to stave off a growing problem. secrets in america's well to do suburbs. for more and more middle class families, things may not be as they seem. now, there's gentle, dependable constipation relief for me...
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back now with a growing problem at america's beaches where a lot of folks have spent this first weekend of summer, the sand is disappearing at an alarming pace. our chief environmental affairs correspondent anne thompson explains why. >> reporter: on the beach in atlantic city, you'll find children building in the sand, and adults doing the same on this new jersey barrier island. one of many battles to preserve america's beaches, under assault from coastal storms and rising sea levels, fuelled by climate change. >> 0 to 90% of our beaches are eroding, from a few inches a year up to 50 feet a year in louisiana, which is the erosion hotspot in the united states. >> reporter: erosion issues are closing south carolina's polly
beach county park. in san francisco, they're debating whether it's worth the effort to try to save ocean beach. the beach is where we like to play. >> you can clear your mind. >> reporter: it plays a critical role in our natural defense. >> the beach is nature's protection against storms for the island and everything behind it. >> reporter: here it means atlantic city's famous board walk and hotels and casinos, so the beach is being fortified with this project. 1.3 million yards of cubic sand will be dredged, filtered and spread alongshore line. >> can you just put the sand anywhere? >> no, we want to put the sand where it's going to do the most good. >> reporter: including at the brand new revel resort. >> i think it will be very important, that's what we're selling. we're selling a beach front experience. >> reporter: critics say this is just another example of man's folly, trying to replenish what
the ocean is so determined to reclaim. but it can work. look at miami's south beach. >> if we let the natural erosion proceed, we wouldn't have any beaches in south beach, miami beach or large parts of ft. lauderdale. >> reporter: a chance no one here in atlantic city wants to take. anne thompson, nbc news, atlantic city. we're back in a moment with a health scare for a television icon. we had a great spot, not easy to find, but worth it. but with copd making it hard to breathe, i thought those days might be over. so my doctor prescribed symbicort. it helps significantly improve my lung function starting within five minutes. symbicort doesn't replace a rescue inhaler for sudden symptoms. with symbicort, today i'm breathing better. and that means...fish on! symbicort is for copd including chronic bronchitis and emphysema. it should not be taken more than twice a day. symbicort may increase your risk of lung infections,
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expected to make a full recovery, and be back giving answers when the game show resumes production next month. millions of americans still struggle in a fragile economy, nowhere has a community seen a dramatic economic shift than the suburbs. since last fall, "dateline nbc" has been following three families from boulder, colorado. their middle class lives descend into poverty. joyce welch, a stay at home mom, living a comfortable middle class life in superior, colorado never thought she would have to ask for help. after her husband, a mechanical engineer lost his job and the family ran out of savings, she had to. >> what ideally would be enough to make you breathe the most easily. >> if we had enough to pay half
the rent. i'm just sitting there going, i cannot believe i have to do this, this sucks. >> joyce spoke to sara nelson at the community center, a nonprofit organization that provides financial assistance to low income families and helps them access public safety nets like medicaid, housing and food stamps. in 2010, only 4% of sister carmen's clients were from well to do suburbs like superior. by the end of 2011, that had exploded to a whopping 22%. >> your demand went up from 2010 to 2011. the financial crisis started in 2008. why now? >> i think especially when it comes to middle class families their resources are drained. they utilized all their savings, their retirement funds and we're their last resort. >> reporter: paying basic bills has become a struggle. even the grocery bill.
so joyce put on a brave face and went to the sister carmen food pantry. >> i'm thrilled and blessed to have sister carmen. >> but you don't like coming back here? >> i hate it. i want to be able to do -- i want to pick what i want to eat. i want to feed my kids what they'll eat and not have to worry about, but this is all we've got. >> reporter: at least three and a half million suburbanitis have fallen below the poverty line since 2003. joyce has had to accept she's one of them. do you ever fear this is life as you know it? >> i do fear that, i think that strengthens my resolve. i will fight whatever i have to fight. and i will not stay here. >> we'll show you what happens to joyce and the other families we follow tonight on "dateline." america now lost in suburbia, at a special time tonight 8:00, 7:00 central. when we come back here, a
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>> the concrete work is quite spectacular. >> reporter: the california museum of art helped the artist realize a vision he had for 40 years. now, visitors will find themselves looking up at the improbab improbable, the monster 340 ton rock, moved from its desert birth place. highser almost never does interviews, did one for us. >> it's the happiest day of my life. >> reporter: it's a happy day for others as well. blackman's michael govin says he knows what visitors will say about this one. >> wow! that should be the reaction of most people. >> reporter: it's not all oohs and aahs. an artist friend of mine told me, it's horrible. it's all about the money. it did reach $10 million to
reach this day. among the comments, a ridiculous waste of money, and seriously a rock? >> what about the critics who say it's not art? >> we know different. >> that's right. >> we're experts at it. >> reporter: and here it is, a giant pebble hardened 100 years ago. a stone that's gathered no moss, but that is gathering plenty of attention. mike taibbi, nbc news, los angeles. >> that's nbc nightly news for this sunday. don't forget "dateline" tonight, brian williams will be here tomorrow. i'm lester holt reporting from new york. for all of us here at nbc news. good night. -- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com